Use storytelling to enhance your brand and build your business

Mar 1, 2018Sheri Johnson

Content Creation

Make your brand storytelling resonate with stakeholders to engage, persuade and empower them to take action.

For several years, the idea of storytelling has captured marketers’ attention and compelled them to create better content. Content that inspires, delights and moves stakeholders. At Morningstar Communications, we believe storytelling is critical to bringing your brand identity to life.

Storytelling began centuries ago as an oral tradition to explain phenomena, pass on cultural traditions, and entertain. While we now enjoy significantly more channels for delivering our stories, they remain a fabric of our communities, families and world. They also make a powerful marketing communication tool for businesses. Well-told stories can change attitudes and behaviors and make a meaningful impact in our world.

Today, storytelling is more important than ever, and it will continue to be a key marketing strategy in 2018 and beyond. Every successful thought leadership strategy starts by determining the stories to tell, the lens through which they will take shape, and the best method for delivering those stories to your target audiences. When brands think about telling stories, some key tips will help you draw in your reader, gain their interest and engagement, and over time, prompt them to consider your point of view, product or service.

Successful content marketers know it’s important to go beyond some of the typical storytelling tactics to engage an audience that’s bombarded with thousands of marketing and thought leadership messages every day.

Make it visual

We’ve all heard that video is rapidly surpassing other forms of content in popularity, and it offers a compelling way to tell your story. With new apps that make creating quick, quality videos easier than ever before, now is the time to explore how you can use this medium to create engaging and compelling stories that effectively position your brand and engage your audiences. Check out an app like Animoto to create fast and easy video stories for your brand.

If you haven’t already experimented with live streaming apps, they offer another great way to tell a visual story while reaching those stakeholders who want easy-to-consume information. In today’s world, it’s about speed more than quality. That said, it’s important to keep quality high on your list to ensure your storytelling reflects your brand essence and point of view. Ideally, shoot for authentic and meaningful, but not overly produced video content.

And remember, video isn’t the only way to tell a visual story. Informative infographics remain a popular way to share complicated storylines or statistics. They offer a myriad of ways to use elements like art, graphs, charts and more, to tell you story in a unique and compelling way while making it easy to digest and understand.

Feature customer stories

In the B2B world, customer testimonials offer a powerful way to engage your existing customers in telling your story, but also to demonstrate the value you offer other potential clients. Finding ways to tell your story through your customer’s eyes – whether through user-generated content or content you collaborate on together, gives your story extra relevance. You’ll gain the ability to highlight the customer problem (the conflict needed for any successful story) and how your organization identified the challenge provided the right solution (the climax and resolution).

You can tell customer stories a variety of ways, from blogposts, downloadable case studies, on-camera Q&A interviews, etc. Take the opportunity to strengthen relationships and build a content library of customer testimonials that fits a variety of your storytelling needs.

Use data effectively

In 2018, data continues to rise as a key component in determining a myriad of aspects of any marketing initiative. It holds true for storytelling, too. From a practical perspective, how can you use data to ensure you’re getting the right story to the right person at the right time? From an emotional approach, how can you use data to create an engaging story that pulls your prospects further down the funnel, capturing their hearts and minds and persuading them to continue their journey with your organization?

Facebook uses the concept of data-driven storytelling with its Friendversary celebrations and Facebook anniversaries. Google used a similar methodology when it highlighted the most popular searches in its Google Trends feature in 2017. By combining data and visuals, it created a story that captured not only the facts, but the emotion behind them in a captivating story.

Even though storytelling has changed over the years, from the oral histories of our ancestors to the experiential storytelling of the future (yes, SXSW has an entire track on it this year), it remains one of the best ways to capture the imagination and attention of your audience and persuade them to engage with your brand.